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Sunday 15 March 2020

Tales From The Village

    “It’s your move young man……..we haven’t got all day.”
    “Why haven’t we got all day, what’s so important we should be doing?”
    “I have just moved Queen’s Knight to King’s Bishop 4.”
    “Yes so you have. You said we haven’t got all day, why haven’t we got all day?”
    “Are you going to make your move?”
    “Yes any day now, I have a plan!”
    “You have a plan, tell me your plan?”
    “Why should I tell you?”
    “Because I once had a plan, a good plan it was” and there came a faraway look in the Naval Commanders eyes.
    “There was a chap who had a small dingy, it floated in the Free Sea and he sat in it for most of the morning. It was ridiculous really because the water was far too shallow at one end for the dingy to be rowed about. So another chap pulled the dingy on a length of rope. About mid day the two young men became fed up with messing about in a dingy, and they went for a walk, possibly calling in at the café for lunch. I sat on a bench in the Piazza wondering if I could not make better use of the small dingy, when an idea struck me.
    A few days later I was clever enough to obtain a workman’s overall and peaked cap. And one day about mid morning I sat in the Piazza watching this same chap messing about in the dingy in the Free Sea. After a few minutes I stood up casually and walked away, making my way back to my cottage. Inside I changed into the pair of overalls and the peaked cap, then went outside again and made my way towards the Piazza.”
   “And where are you going?” a voice suddenly demanded to know.
   I stopped and turned round.
    The man wearing the same coloured pair of overalls as myself looked me up and down. “Well 42, that’s a nice clean pair of overalls you’re wearing, how about getting some paint on them. You see that wall with the arch?”
    I looked at the said wall.
    The man pointed at the tins of paint and the ladder at the base of the wall “I want you to paint that wall yellow, and don’t be all day about it!”
    The man turned out to be a foreman from the Works Department. So what else could I do……I commenced painting the wall. Besides I needed time to think. I had intended posing as a workman who had been ordered to take the boat to the maintenance shop on the grounds that the dingy needed work doing to it. But it was a long way through the village to the beach without being noticed, and the shortest route was not without its hazards! But as it worked out I wasn’t to need the dingy.
    I had been working on the wall for a couple of hours when I was approached by two men. One was about 6 feet tall and dressed in a brown piped blazer. The other was shorter in height, stouter, and wore a brown and white striped jersey.
    “What do you think?” the man in the brown blazer asked.
    “Something wrong sir?” I asked.
    “Did you paint this?”
    I thought that a bit of a stupid question seeing as I was holding a paint brush “Well yes. If it’s not satisfactory…….”
    “I’ll do it again.”
    “Ah I’m satisfied, are you?” he said, asking his colleague.
    “”Carry on 42, we’ll be in touch with you.”
    “Very good sir” I said.
    The two men walked off leaving me wondering what it was they wanted. Little did I know at the time, that I was about earmarked to become involved with a more elaborate escape plan than my own!
    Anyway as it turned out the Works foreman wasn’t satisfied with my painting of the wall, and so it was when I was painting the wall again the next day that No.6 approached me with the recognition password “Tonight at moonset, Rook to Queen’s pawn 6 check.”
As it turned out the man in the brown piped blazer was No.6 who had come up with a plan to get a group of reliable men together in order to form an escape group. Mind you it was No.6 who carried out much of the plan, although No.53 was a large part of that plan. It was he who stole the surveillance camera, the telephone from the telephone booth, screwdriver and electric components from the electrics truck, and who constructed a radio transmitter. Myself, the shopkeeper-No.56, and another chap were part of the gang to supply muscle should we run into trouble.
   Basically the escape plan was to transmit a distress call from an aircraft in trouble which is down in the sea. Then for No.53 to paddle a raft just offshore transmitting an automatic distress signal in order to bring rescuers in and that way affect an escape. It was a good plan, and I bet no-one had thought of it before. While No.53 was at sea transmitting his distress call, the rest of us went to the Green Dome and tied No.2 up to prevent him taking action against us.
    “What happened then?” the young man asked eager to know more.
    The distress signal stopped! No.6 rushed off to see what had gone wrong. While he was away No.53 turned up. The thing was No.6 had avoided selecting guardians as members of the group by detecting their subconscious arrogance. No.53 applied No.6’s own test to him. When No.6 took command of the escape venture his air of authority convinced No.53 that No.6 was one of them, and he convinced the rest of us. So we released No.2.
    “And you have been here in the village ever since.”
    “Well it was worth a try, but if there’s one thing I have discovered since my arrival here, escape is not possible. I know that because I’ve tried and tried again. I’ve even had that Number 8 tell me what not to try. So if I can’t escape no-one can. Oh look you have left your King exposed….checkmate!”
    The young man stood up to leave “Just one more thing, the number on the badge on your naval cap.”
    “You’ve noticed.”
    “It’s rather unusual.”
    “I first worked for Naval Intelligence before moving on to British Intelligence. So when I arrived here they decided to give me a number deserving of my rank, 007!”

Be seeing you

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